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Commenting on the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government announced today by the Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon, Alan Bermingham of CIPFA Scotland said:
"The programme introduced today by the first minister is ambitious in its scope. Its focus on investment measures to develop the economy may inevitably mean that the Scottish Government will have to make full use of its newly devolved taxation powers.
"The announcement of the lift on the public sector pay cap will be welcome news to many. It will likely go some way in helping to shore up workforce stability and may reduce the hefty bill resulting from the higher costs of short-term contracts and agency fees.
"CIPFA Scotland particularly welcomes the commitment to a real terms funding increase for health services next year and an additional £2bn over this parliament. However, there must be a long-term financial strategy to support this increase in funding that considers the impact of this commitment on the full range of public services.
"Indeed, the challenges that all public services are facing need to be addressed, and so we support the Scottish Government in its work to understand how a progressive and responsible Scottish tax system could better support the sector."